January 18, 2009

Welcome to The Napoleon Room

No, not this kind of Napoleon:

This kind of Napoleon:

He hangs in the room we now call The Napoleon Room. The little leader was one of the first things I bought for the house, originally for the toile bathroom, but he was too big (imagine that...Napoleon was too big! He'd be so happy.). Then he was just sort of hanging out in the empty guest room all by himself. "Where's the vacuum?" "In the Napoleon Room." "Where should I put these empty boxes?" "In The Napoleon Room." So, that's how the room got it's name, and now our French ami stands guard over guests in the bedroom next to ours.

Here's the room in January 2008. We slept in here (on our air mattress) because it was the darkest room in the house (and we had no window coverings). Lots and lots of floral wallpaper:

And here it is this week:

I'd like to say we took the wallpaper down ourselves, but we didn't. We hired local handyman Noel who ripped and primed in just a couple of days. The pain, suffering and cursing we were spared was worth every dime of the very reasonable price he charged. We'd still be ripping down the three layers (I wish I had saved a piece of the psychedelic 60s race car paper behind the flowers).

The iron bed frame was...$219! We were at Raymour and Flanigan to look at mattresses, and bought the frame. I really didn't want to buy anything from the big chain stores, but we couldn't resist the price. It's on sale there quite a bit (and we had a coupon), and I have to say it's sturdy as all get-out if you're looking for a classic "iron" frame that would work in either a vintage or modern space.

Above is one of three dressers I scored on my thrifty trips this year, and I have to say it's my favorite. The detail of the woodgrain...oh...it's really fabulous. It was in mint condition. I cleaned it with Murphy's. That's it. Currently on the dresser top: A trio of thrifty treasures (the
globe, the oil painting and the candlestick) that didn't even cost me $20. Love. That.

In the corner where Napoleon hangs out is a cute little table that we dug out of the man of the house's mother's attic.

And while we're in Mr. Bonaparte's corner, check out the amazing frieze work all along the outside of the portrait, all showing various pieces of Napoleon's life. It was hard to get good photos of the etching, but there's quite a bit of detail. It's signed but I can't make out the signature. This is definitely one of the things I'd schlep to the
Antiques Roadshow. It cost me $75, on major sale from someone cleaning out his antique booth but still a budget buster for me. So I'm hoping Mark Walberg will trip over himself with excitement when he sees it (and guess what...the Roadshow is coming to Atlantic City, NJ, on June 6 and I just applied for tickets. Wouldn't that be fun?!)

The pillow adds a pop of color in the neutral room. I love this fabric, and wish the woman I bought it from at the Ocean Grove Craft Fair had a web site. Her fabrics were fabulous, and the quality of her sewing quite good. Plus this rather large bolster cost only $27, which I was happy to hand over to another crafty lady. (And, p.s., the color palette of the room became neutral by "accident"...we had a full gallon of Ben Moore's Fog Mist left over from the "billiard room," and the taupe-colored quilted bedding came from my mom. She was getting ready to donate it and I gladly swooped in on that.)

On the other side table is that fabulous 1950s hostess book I scored at the
Ladies' bazaar this summer. I like to think that guests chuckle their ways to sleep after reading about savory and sweet gelatin molds and the proper ways to welcome your husband's friends into the home.

This little (heavy!) mirror was one of the first "grown up" things I ever bought. I got it at an auction in Windham, NY, when I was in college for around $15, I think ('cause I certainly didn't have much money!). It's plaster and chippie, but fabulous.

And here's the plate rack
I've mentioned before. It's Dutch and very, VERY old. (Come to think of it, I may haul that to the Roadshow, too.) Currently I've got a couple of black and white family photos perched in there (it needs more, though I think the rack will house a rotating gallery of all sorts of thrifty oddities)...

...including one photo of the very dapper father of Mr. Shorehouse. I love this photo:

The rack is on a big empty wall. I'm fixed on finding an old faux fireplace/vintage mantle to put there, but Mr. S. doesn't "get" it. Fake? Fireplace? Why? Ugh. Do I have to explain everything? ;-) I grabbed the
chair from the master bedroom that I bought from the fabulous Brooklyn-based Reclaimed Home to pop in there for a look-see. Maybe a chair could fill in the space a bit...

Any ideas?

I hope you enjoyed finally meeting The Napoleon Room. Blogging will continue to be a bit sporadic. I am crazy busy at the day job so please forgive me if I'm absent from your blogs, too, for the time being. Google Reader just told me I have "1000 +" posts to catch up on. Gulp.


tam said...

WoW! I Love what you did with your Nepoleon room! Awesome finds too-I really enjoyed all of your treasures girl! I like your style of decorating-can't wait to see more of what you do! Hope you get to go to the antiques roadshow-how freakin cool would that be?!?! I LOVE that show!
Don't work too hard-have an awesome week!~Smiles~Tam!

heidi said...

Love it! Especially how his eyes seem to follow you wherever you go in the room... -xoh

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Love what you've done and you've managed to get some amazing thrift finds! Just gorgeous!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, I love your Napoleon room, and I totally get the fireplace idea. I saw the neatest one ever in Jacksonville recently, but you'd need to get to Florida to get it. LOL!

I have a small oil of Napoleon, and I've really enjoyed it over the years. Another thing in common.

We've missed you, but we certainly understand. :-)



Wanderluster said...

I'd love to stay in the Napoleon Room. You've made it so cozy and inviting. Love the dresser and the plate rack! Those were great finds.

Ina J Offret said...

Lovely post and the room redo and explanation is very lovely. I enjoyed all the back stories of the items in the room. Mr. Shorehouse (vintage photo) is indeed a ladies man!!

That 1950s hostess book looks like a hoot! Reminds me of when I found an early Emily Post book on etiquette (spelling?) they had some interesting customs "back in the day" .....Found you via Joyce A Perfect Beginning. Will be back. PS I am also a Jersey Girl! My family lives in Brick, Brielle, and Belmar!! xo

Linda Lou said...

Love how the room tells a special story with each piece that you have placed there, the bed is great, the plate rach is so cool, Napoleon would be proud to sleep here. A chair would definitely add a nice touch to the room, a very comfy chair!

Renovation Therapy said...

The room is GORGEOUS!

I want that plate rack. Will it fit in my Sticky Fingers Bag? LOL!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Laura

I love your Napolean room! You really are making the shore house so warm and inviting. I hope you get to be on the Roadshow! What fun to learn you own a valuable antique! Maybe those womderful shelves?

I'm so far behind on blog comments and e-mails and I'm trying so hard to catch up too.

Have a good week!

Hugs, Pat

Johanna said...

Nice work! The room look so pretty!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Cute room, Laura, love all your old stuff in there. Congrats on getting down that wallpaper. And those Mr.'s of ours...they don't get a lot of things. You'll have to see my post today to see what I mean! Heh-heh!

Leigh said...

I am sooo glad that you commented on my blog, Bloggeritaville. I remember stopping by your place for a visit during the Redos of 2008. What fun! Boy this room, The Napolean room was quite a redo. IT looks fabulous! I love that you used the plate rack for framed photos-and I too love that pic of the Mr! To cool!
I love the room color. I am going to paint my vedroom that color too. Currently our den is that color and I love it! Very "beachY' which I love.
I love the little sidetable, a bit of a barley twist table. To cute! And that book- preceious and priceless, what fun! I LOVE your blog! A girl after my own beach loving and inspired heart!

Joyce said...

I love this room! The photos the stories of the furniture... Did you save any of the wall paper? I'm sure you will come up with something wonderful for the wall. You have done a fabulous job my friend!!
I grew up with the first Napoleon photo! Ohhh... does this make me hungry! xoxo

Blondie's Journal said...

Great job!! Love all your antiques, you have quite the thrifty eye! :-)
Napoleon Room. I love it. Remember his famous line "Josephine, don't wash, I'm coming home!" Ugh! Shouldn't dis him, my hubby is French!


Anonymous said...

1000 posts to catch up on. That's hilarious-good luck! ;-)

I LOVE the room. It's beautiful, classic and timeless.

Yay for You!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Laura,

The Napoleon room looks great! Love the transformation and your sense of style.

When I get behind on Google Reader (which is often lately) I just mark all the posts read and start over. LOL

:) Diane

Ms. Tee said...

Your Napoleon room is great, Laura - and the bed is wonderful! I've been thinking about getting an iron bed. That price is amazing! Oh, and I totally understand about the wallpaper, too - we did it ourselves one year & I hope I never have to do it again. :) Hope you have a great week~

desiree@lookiloos said...


It looks great. I especially love all the little touches...the book and end tables. WOW! Really nice. So, glad to see you back...I so know that feeling that the pesky day job can get in the way. Don't stress!

Liz said...

Mmmm! I love that whole room, especially the dresser. That is gorgeous!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Great decorating job! You have such an eye for detail and the room is gorgeous! A little extra bonus that I actually know and was probably where you purchased some of the furnishings. Love the road show too.♥, Susan

Laura said...

The room looks fabulous! Thanks for the heads up about the Antiques Roadshow- I just put in for tickets. I would totally drive from Philly to find out that my little treasures are actually junk!

pve design said...

The Napoleon Room Rules!
Love what you have done!
good luck at work with all you have to do!

Lorrie said...

Laura what a wonderful tour. I just love how this room turned out and hearing the stories about how you acquired the various bits and pieces. It gives the room a nice sense of history. The Napoleon Room" is such a neat name too.

I certainly understand how busy life gets, so don't worry about being MIA sometimes!

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVING all of your hard work! Keep sharing!

Maureen said...

My father's 40th birthday cake was a Napoleon cake from Pelham Bakery in the Bronx. Oh, was that a yummy cake. As great as it was, it's not nearly as great as your guest room. I love that it's called the Napolean room. At my parents' house we have the "dirty basement". It got that name because it was a storage room that my two-year old brother thought was dirty. We still call it the dirty basement and he's twenty-five.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Laura, isn't that the perfect vegetarian dish? You have to try it, it's so yummy. Even my hubby gave it rave reviews. Get some good crusty artisan bread.

Courtney said...

man...I am really loving this room! I SO hope you get to go the Antiques Roadshow, just so I can live vicariously through you. Btw I also really like the chair in there...the room looks so small that it might be better to not fill it with a fireplace (although I do adore a good salvaged mantel). thanks for stopping by my "nest"...I'll have a few more posts soon... :-) xoxo

Rathna said...

The work what you've done is amazing and very much inviting too!! Antique collections and your decorating stlye for the room is very cool. Especially eye of a Nepolean and the Bed you have displayed is great,I am sure Napoleon would be proud to stay in this room.

julia@lookiloos said...

Your room is fit for an emperor! What a change-o! Love the border of Napoleon, and I would pay more than you did for that dresser. My daughter needs a taller one!

Laura @ Shoot-Scoop said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I love your Napoleon Room!!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting Addition!
Napoleon Fireplaces